How to find a wedding dress you can afford

Buying an Inexpensive Wedding Dress

by Dollar Stretcher Contributors

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Buying an Inexpensive Wedding Dress

Congratulate me! My fiancée proposed to! We're working on our wedding plans now. One problem is that I don't have a lot of money for a wedding dress, so I need to find something that's inexpensive. I have a little time (four months). It's my big day, so the wedding dress is important to me. Can anyone tell me how to buy an inexpensive wedding dress?

Save at Bridal Consignment

We went to a Bridal Consignment store in our area for my daughter's wedding.
Lisa (via Facebook)

Borrow a Wedding Dress

Borrow one. That is what I did. Then I had it cleaned and professionally stored and gave it back to the lovely lady who let me borrow it. (The total cost was about $150 for the cleaning/storage.)
Cristy (via Facebook)

Look at Thrift Stores for an Inexpensive Wedding Dress

I see very fancy, gently-used wedding dresses in my local thrift stores. I know that sounds tacky, but it couldn't hurt to look! Spending $10 to $30 for a dress would certainly help your wedding budget!
Amy in ABQ

Rent Your Dress!

Many bridal shops rent beautiful dresses, and you can have the dress of your dreams for a fraction of the cost to buy. My thrifty daughter rented her dress and no one was the wiser.

Think Outside the Box

The most beautiful wedding dress I ever saw for a simple wedding was bought at a department store and not in the wedding dress department. It was from the summer dress area and was a simple white lace over muslin summer dress, worn with a flower embellished straw hat. It was simply elegant.

Shop for Last Year's Fashions

Winter is a good time to be looking for a dress. With spring weddings in vogue, retailers need to clear out last year's fashions to make room for new ones. Check with bridal and formal shops now, but only look at what is in stock.

Don't Forget the Clearance Racks

My daughter was able to find her dream dress on clearance at a bridal shop. We only paid $100 for the dress. Alterations were $20. She received many compliments on her dress at the wedding.

Would a Prom Dress Fill the Need?

When I got married, I was also on a limited budget. I bought my wedding dress at JCPenney(tm) in the prom dress section. I found a floor length, white dress with thin straps and elegant embroidery. It was on sale for around $100. I paired it with a pair of strappy white dress shoes that I bought for $25.

Costco? Really!

For four hundred dollars, I bought a new wedding dress in downtown LA, which was beautiful. Although I thought I had gotten an amazing deal, I was searching Costco's website for something and came across inexpensive wedding dresses. If you do not have a Costco card, I am sure someone you know does and can order the dress for you online.


A week ago, here in Philly, a newlywed offered her wedding gown on Freecyle. She listed an in-depth description. There was only a small spot on the underside bottom from a dirty parking lot. The gown had already been dry cleaned. Some lucky gal walked away with a really beautiful gown for free! To play it forward, the gown can be re-offered to some other lucky bride-to-be in the near future, using Freecycle.

Visit Once Wed

In 2011, my daughter bought her wedding dress from a website called Once Wed. Recent brides list their dresses complete with the measurements and height of the wearer. The dress was absolutely gorgeous, and except for a half-inch adjustment in the straps, it fit perfectly. The total expense was $100.

Shop Discontinued Styles

Stores like David's Bridal have discontinued styles marked down to as little as $99. Start shopping now and be patient. My daughter was able to buy a beautiful dress for less than $150 and got many compliments on it. No one was the wiser to the cost.

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